Public Info

Union County Awards Grants for School and Community Gardens

The Union County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce that a total of 94 school and community gardens have been awarded funding through the Union County Plant a Seed initiative, which supports nutrition, sustainability, civic service and STEM education, and helps to build community connections and improve access to fresh produce as well as social opportunities and outdoor recreation.

school garden grant program flyer

“Studies show that when children engage in gardening programs as a part of their school curriculum, health outcomes are improved, school performance is increased, pro-environmental attitudes evolve, and social and emotional interactions benefit. When you connect kids to gardens and allow them to dig in, it helps them begin to think holistically about their food, their schools, their larger communities, and the health of our planet.” said Union County Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados. “Community gardens also help to bring together residents to build new relationships with each other, through growing fresh produce and tending to the health of the garden and the community, too.”

“Throughout the years, the Commissioner Board has supported and encouraged residents of all ages in appreciating our outdoor spaces, engaging with conservation and environmental preservation topics, and enjoying a wide range of outdoor recreational activities. We are very proud to extend this support to school and community gardens, which reach hundreds of students and gardeners of all ages each year,” said Commissioner Lourdes Leon. Commissioner Leon, Chair of the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

The Plant a Seed program garden grant program began in 2018. It is funded by the Chairman Initiatives and administered through the Trust Fund. It includes the Union County Kids Dig In grant program for schools, and the Union County Means Green community garden grant program. For information on both programs visit

Eligible sites for funding through Plant a Seed are for growing vegetables. Fruits, nuts, berries, herbs, spices, and pollinator-attracting plants are also covered, as well as plants that provide natural pest control. Ornamental plants and non-producing gardens are not covered.

With the inclusion of Roselle Park and Summit for the first time in 2023, Kids Dig In has now funded school gardens in all 21 municipalities of Union County.

The 2023 Kids Dig In program awarded grants to the following 69 school gardens:

MunicipalityOrganizationOptionAwarded Amount
Berkeley HeightsColumbia Middle School$500Garden enhancement
Berkeley HeightsMountain Park Elementary School$500Garden Enhancement
ClarkALJ High School$750Raised Bed
ClarkMother Seton Regional High School$750Raised Bed
ClarkValley Road School$500Garden Enhancement
CranfordLivingston Avenue School$750Raised Bed
ElizabethWinfield Scott School No. 2$850Earthbox Garden
ElizabethJoseph Battin 4 Annex$750Raised Bed
ElizabethJoseph Battin 4 Main$750Raised Bed
ElizabethMabel G. Holmes School No. 5$850Earthbox Garden
ElizabethToussaint L’ouverture School No. 6$850Earthbox Garden
ElizabethJVJ STEM Academy$850Earthbox Garden
ElizabethJerome Dunn Academy School No. 9$500Garden Enhancement
ElizabethElmora School No. 12$750Pollinator Garden
ElizabethJ. Christian Bollwage Finance Academy$500Garden Enhancement
ElizabethAlexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy$750Raised Bed
ElizabethAbraham Lincoln School$850Earthbox Garden
ElizabethTerence C. Reilly$750Pollinator Garden
ElizabethVictor Mravlag$750Raised Bed
ElizabethMadison Monroe School No. 16$750Raised Bed
ElizabethRobert Morris School No. 18$750Raised Bed
ElizabethWoodrow Wilson School No. 19$750Raised Bed
ElizabethJohn Marshall School No. 20$750Raised Bed
ElizabethNicholas M. Butler School No. 23$850Earthbox Garden
ElizabethDr. Albert Einstein Academy School No. 29$500Garden Enhancement
ElizabethAdmiral William Halsey Technology Academy$750Pollinator Garden
ElizabethJohn E. Dwyer$750Pollinator Garden
ElizabethDr. Orlando Edreira Academy School No. 26$750Pollinator Garden
ElizabethDr. Antonia Pantoja School No. 27$750Raised Bed
ElizabethJuan Pablo Duarte School 28$500Garden Enhancement
ElizabethWilliam Halloran$500Garden Enhancement
ElizabethDr. MLK Jr. School No. 52$750Raised Bed
ElizabethFrances C. Smith School 50$500Garden Enhancement
HillsideA.P. Morris Early Childhood Center$750Pollinator Garden
HillsideDeanna G. Taylor Academy$500Garden Enhancement
HillsideHurden Looker School$500Garden Enhancement
HillsideHillside High School$500Garden Enhancement
HillsideHillside Innovation Academy$750Raised Bed
HillsideWalter O Krumbiegel Middle School$850Earthbox Garden
HillsideOla Edwards Community School$750Raised Bed
KenilworthSt. Theresa School$750Pollinator Garden
KenilworthDavid Brearley Middle & High School$850Earthbox Garden
LindenSprouts Academy$850Earthbox Garden
LindenSchool No. 4$500Garden Enhancement
LindenSchool No. 2$500Garden Enhancement
LindenSchool No. 5$750Raised Bed
New ProvidenceNew Providence High School & Middle School$750Pollinator Garden
New ProvidenceMorris Union Jointure Commission- Developmental Learning Center$850Earthbox Garden
New ProvidenceThe Academy of Our Lady of Peace$750Raised Bed
PlainfieldEmerson Community Elementary School$500Garden Enhancement
RoselleGrace Wilday Junior High School$500Garden Enhancement
RoselleWashington Elementary School$750Raised Bed
Roselle ParkEJF Aldene School$850Earthbox Garden
Roselle ParkRoselle Park High School$850Earthbox Garden
Roselle ParkRobert Gordon Elementary$750Pollinator Garden
Roselle ParkSherman Elementary School$850Earthbox Garden
Roselle ParkRoselle Park Middle School$750Pollinator Garden
Scotch PlainsUnion County Vo-Tech High School$500Garden Enhancement
Scotch PlainsUnion Catholic High School$750Pollinator Garden
SummitSummit High School$850Earthbox Garden
UnionFranklin Elementary$750Raised Bed
UnionBattle Hill Elementary School$500Garden Enhancement
UnionLivingston Elementary School$750Pollinator Garden
UnionKawameeh Middle School$850Earthbox Garden
WestfieldCrossroads School$750Raised Bed
WestfieldMcKinley Elementary School$750Pollinator Garden
WestfieldJefferson Elementary School$500Garden Enhancement
WestfieldWestlake School$750Raised Bed
WinfieldWinfield School$500Garden enhancement

The 2023 Union County Means Green program awarded grants to the following 25 community gardens:

MunicipalityOrganizationOptionAwarded Amount
ElizabethJewish Family Services2- Garden Enhancement$500.00
ElizabethTrinitas Hospital2- Garden Enhancement$500.00
ElizabethElizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless2- Garden Enhancement$500.00
ElizabethElmora Community Garden2 Garden Enhancement$500.00
ElizabethPrevention Links2 Garden Enhancement$500.00
ElizabethJosephine’s Place2-Garden Enhancement$500.00
ElizabethStephen Samson Center2-Garden Enhancement$500.00
ElizabethHACE1-Raised Bed Garden$750.00
ElizabethElmora Public Library1-Raised Bed Garden$750.00
ElizabethPISC2-Garden Enhancement$500.00
ElizabethPeterstown Senior Center1-Raised Bed Garden$750.00
HillsideTownship of Hillside2 Garden Enhancement$500.00
LindenCIC Youth and Family Engagement Community Garden1- Raised Bed Garden$750.00
PlainfieldRichmond Towers Resident Association1-Raised Bed Garden$750.00
PlainfieldJoanne Hollis Gardens1-Raised Bed Garden$750.00
RahwayThe Gateway Family YMCA-Rahway1-Raised Bed Garden$750.00
RahwayFriendship Baptist Church1-Raised Bed Garden$750.00
RoselleBorough of Roselle1-Raised Bed Garden$750.00
Roselle ParkRoselle Park Environmental Commission1-Raised Bed Garden$750.00
Scotch PlainsRotary Frazee House2-Garden Enhancement$500.00
SpringfieldSpringfield Free Public Library1- Raised Bed Garden$750.00
SummitReeves Reed Arboretum2-Garden Enhancement$500.00
UnionTownship of Union1 Raised Bed Garden$750.00
UnionTownship of Union-Vauxhall Garden1-Raised Bed Garden$750.00
UnionThe Gateway Family YMCA2-Garden Enhancement$500.00
Total: $15,750.00

The Commissioner Board will host a kickoff event for the 2023 Plant a Seed awardees at Kean University on April 24. The event will include the announcement of awards, garden workshops for those educators needing continuing education credits, and a light lunch.

For quick links to all environmental programs and activities hosted by the Commissioner Board visit The Green Connection,

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing and other support services, visit General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at

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